Sheffield Wednesday make the short trip to Chesterfield on Saturday desperate to halt a run of form that is seeing them slip out of automatic promotion contention. The Owls know that anything less than a win could see the gap to 2nd place widen further but Chesterfield are also in great need of maximum points as former Wednesday favourite John Sheridan attempts to get them out of the League One relegation zone.
Tuesday evening’s home defeat to Stevenage was Wednesday’s 3rd defeat in succession and they are now two points behind bitter rivals Sheffield United having played two games more.
Ryan Lowe and John Bostock missed out on the midweek defeat through injury and illness respectively but both will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s clash and could go straight into the starting line-up if passed fit. The same can be said of centre-back Miguel Llera who had stitches in a wound picked up in last weekends defeat atExeter.
Gary Megson’s side will be boosted by the return of Reda Johnson following a two-match ban. The imposing defender is expected to return at left-back with Lewis Buxton likely to switch to the right.
Chesterfield have injury doubts concerning the midfield duo of Jimmy Juan and Mark Allott as well as on loan West Brom full-back James Hurst.Hurst has been a regular since making his debut against Leyton Orient 6 games ago but recently picked up an ankle injury. Juan made a scoring debut in the same game but has not featured since due to a calf injury and Allott is struggling with a hamstring strain.
The out of form Owls have won only one of their last six games and a return to winning ways is a must if they are to keep in any sort of touch with promotion rivals Sheffield United ahead of next Sunday’s steel city derby.
Chesterfield’s form has been much better of late with four wins and just one defeat in their last six. Two of those victories came against Oldham in the 2-leg semi-final of the Football League Trophy however and they have only enjoyed five wins from 30 league matches this season, winning three and drawing five of the fourteen home league games so far.
This will be Wednesday’s first trip to Chesterfield’s new stadium but the Owls don’t have a great record at their former home, Saltergate. In sixteen away matches at the Spireites the Owls have won four and lost nine but did win 3-1 on their last visit in 2005.
The two teams met at Hillsborough back in October with Wednesday enjoying a 3-1 home win.